My Gorton’s Frozen Fish Hat

We’ve had this silly hat in our bin full of sailing gear for as long as we can remember. We were given one as a joke when we first started telling people we were planning to move on to a sailboat. You know your dreams are big when they inspire your friends to buy you ridiculous gag gifts, and this one was certainly a warning shot over our bow that we might be a tad bit crazy. We tossed it carelessly in with the plethora of sailing gear we’ve amassed over the years and forgot about it. When we started packing for our trip out to buy our boat, I flippantly threw it in our bags since I didn’t know what else to do with it.


The neon yellow joke lost its silliness once it started raining. Our massive Gorton’s Frozen Fish hat might be goofy looking but we quickly discovered Gorton’s seem to have the inside scoop on the best fowl weather gear. Zero rain gets past this thing and down your collar. Let the storms rage, I was staying dry.


And here’s the best part. When I went to put it on I discovered a handwritten name on the inside of the hat. It turns out that it’s not the joke one we had been given by our friends. Instead, this hat was our brother-in-law Tony’s—he was both a pilot and sailor. He had clearly written the name “Stanley” on the inside! He passed away some time ago and seeing his name hand sharpied inside, I suddenly remembered we had inherited his duffle bag of sailing gear. Discovering this was his hat instead of the silly joke hat that we must have tossed out, well, it MADE OUR DAY! 


We’d like to think Tony would be happy knowing his hat is still sailing and it feels a little like we’re bringing Tony along for the adventure! It’s a total Tony move to keep dry AND ridiculous in one fell swoop. So these days I’m wearing it with pride and a lot of nostalgia.


And sometimes it admittedly gives me cravings for crappy frozen fish. Tartar sauce anyone?

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